The Wilkie-Unity Karate Club had a busy year in 2020-21. Even with the COVID-19 restrictions, the club was able to train all students at least once a week. Some students were able to train twice a week.
Unfortunately, because of the regulations, Wilkie and Unity students had to train together this year, resulting in a change of location. The club met in the upper hall of the Community Centre in Unity every Tuesday and Thursday evening. The sufficient floor space allowed participants to properly distance every student. Of course masks were mandatory. Students continued their karate training - at a distance and worked on basics and kata (karate forms). Students even practiced some weapons and batto (art of the sword). Tests were spread out over the course of the year.
Because of COVID, no live tournaments or seminars were permissible. However, that did not stop the students from competing. There was a sword tournament in January, a full tournament in Los Angeles in February and a Canadian Genbukai Championship in May. Many students competed and did very well. 21 medals were awarded to this club in the Canadian Championship alone. All the tournaments were virtual. Students sent videos of their katas and kumite skills to be judged. Seminars were made available through Zoom.
Students were able to carry on through the summer with advanced training via Zoom. Thanks to Sensei Carry Grant in Bonnyville (Batto) and Sensei Dean Gulka at the U of S Dojo, advanced classes in weapons, kata and sword were taught weekly. The group met at the United Church to train on Tuesday evenings until the end of July.
Wilkie-Unity Karate Club is looking forward to continuing karate training. Look for them at St. Peter’s gym in Unity this fall.
The accompanying photo is of the students who won medals at the Canadian Genbukai Championships:
Back row on stage, left to right:
Shawn and Amanda Whyte (Shawn - bronze and silver in sword kata - bronze in kata - gold and silver in weapons kata, Amanda - silver in kata);
James and Celia Rutley (Celia - bronze in kata);
Mark Delainey - three bronze in kata.
On the floor, left to right:
Karen Clark and Talon Potratz (Karen - silver in sword kata - bronze in kata);
Sensei Bev Barth - bronze in kata, bronze in sword kata;
Alexa and Jason Goring (Alexa - bronze in kata, silver in weapons kata, Jason - silver in sword kata, 2 bronze in weapons kata).
Missing: Adria Whyte - gold in kata;
Mason Skinner - bronze in kata.